I recently read this Native American tale that tells the story of a young boy speaking with his grandfather.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. “One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
It’s easy to feed the Evil Wolf – Blame everyone in your life for your troubles –that way you don’t have to take any responsibility for anything you’ve said or done because – well – it’s not your fault – it’s the way you were raised, or taught, treated or whatever excuse you can make others believe is responsible for your behavior. You can be this arrogant, rude, unkind person who skips through life unaware of the hurt and despair you’ve let in your wake. You’re unaware – because you don’t care. Why should you – it’s not your fault.
The Evil Wolf is the easy way out. It’s simple, it takes no thought, and certainly allows you to hold onto old hurts, self-pity, anger and grudges for as long as you like – it’s what I call wallowing…
I will admit to feeding this wolf many years ago…
The Good Wolf – well – that takes some work. Joy, peace, hope, humility, kindness, generosity, truth, compassion… these things involve others – and emotions and a sense of belonging. This means you have to show up – emotionally and physically.
Serenity comes only when our soul is untroubled and at peace. And we are only untroubled and at peace when our lives are lived for the common good. At least – this is what I have learned about my life.
I’m not saying the Evil Wolf never gets fed – I’m saying I try and keep it to a few hors d’oeuvres every now and then – because well – I’m only human.
The Good Wolf is the one I try and feed on a daily basis. Love, Hope, Compassion – these bring me Joy. I don’t want anger, envy, jealousy, regret, resentment or ego in my life. Why would anyone?
These wolves – This good and evil – It’s a choice we all must make in our lives. At some point, we all have to look around and realize that the common denominator in all of our tails of woe is – you/me. And the common denominator in our tales of happiness? It’s also you/me. It’s our choice – it’s our life.
So… Which Wolf Do You Feed?